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Expo unveiled: HGTV stars do well by doing good

Expo News | July 1, 2020 | By:

by Rebecca Post

Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen E Laine, the stars of HGTV’s “Good Bones,” will headline as keynote speakers at IFAI Expo 2020.

When daughter-mother team Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen E Laine rehabilitated their first house in 2007, they began a journey that morphed into a successful business and a binge-worthy series on HGTV. Their business, Two Chicks and a Hammer Inc., and their TV show, “Good Bones,” thrive today while benefitting neighborhoods in their hometown of Indianapolis, Ind. 

Starsiak Hawk and E Laine will headline IFAI Expo 2020 as keynote speakers on the opening morning of IFAI’s annual event. Starsiak Hawk, the daughter of the team, explains how the company evolved: “I bought my first house and started renovating it and just got hooked. We have grown from a two-person company to one with eleven employees and four companies within our parent company.” 

Compassionate motivation

“I’m pretty fearless and am willing to take risks, as long as I know I can handle the worst-case scenario,” says Starsiak Hawk, who now leads the business since E Laine, her mother, has retired. The COVID-19 pandemic presented some unprecedented challenges in 2020. However, says Starsiak Hawk, Two Chicks and a Hammer has been able to keep all employees employed during the shutdown. 

A business philosophy of  “do well by doing good” is a driver for Starsiak Hawk. E Laine adds, “Do your research, do the math and then trust your gut. Every business has to make money to survive, but it is my belief that a moral compass and a compassionate motivation are most important. Going to work to make money is not nearly as satisfying as going to work to do good.”

E Laine, an attorney, says that their most significant business challenge today is the same one they faced years ago: “Being able to find and reanimate property no one else would touch on a shoestring budget. It takes a lot of creativity and effort, and it couldn’t be done without the entire Two Chicks team.”

Reanimating neighborhoods

They are particularly proud of their South East Street corridor renovation project in Indianapolis. E Laine explains, “We have five houses on the west side of the street, two houses and a retail space on the east side of the street, exemplifying what Two Chicks and Hammer Inc. does best. The company buys run-down property that many would bulldoze, then reanimates them, keeping the original feel of the neighborhood by maintaining the size and shape of the facades.” 

By buying several properties in a small area, Two Chicks creates an epicenter from which more rehabilitation flows, says E Laine, adding “I am proud that we took this hobby, learned what we needed to learn, and turned it into a thriving business that contributes to the economy and quality of life in Indianapolis.” 

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